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AAHA’s chief executive is leaving in June

The hospital accreditation organization will replace longtime CEO Michael Cavanaugh.

AAHA’s chief executive is leaving in June
Dr. Michael Cavanaugh

The American Animal Hospital Association, which accredits up to 15% of veterinary clinics in the United States and Canada, is looking to replace Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (emeritus), who will step down June 30 after 10 years as CEO.

The Lakewood, Colorado, association credited Dr. Cavanaugh with a multitude of achievements, among them overseeing the birth of the Healthy Workplace Culture Initiative, reducing the size of the AAHA board and reimaging the organization’s yearly conference, now known as Connexity.

“This is an exciting time for the association as we evolve our strategy,” said the board’s president, Guylaine Charette, DMV. “Dr. Cavanaugh has had an invaluable impact on this association and our members, and we are thankful for his contributions. As we look to the future, there are new opportunities for our great association, and together we can lead AAHA into a new chapter.”

Dr. Cavanaugh might not be ready for retirement.

“I am a huge supporter of AAHA and our mission,” he said. “I believe in our staff and our members, and I see a very bright future for the association. While I’m not sure exactly what’s in store for me personally, I still have a lot to contribute to the veterinary profession.”

AAHA reported that he “looks forward to camping, rafting, and kayaking with his wife of nearly 40 years, Beth.”

The search for his replacement is expected to extend through the spring and will involve the board of directors and AAHA’s executive team.

AAHA also recognized Dr. Cavanaugh for helping to:

  • Oversee new programs such as the group purchasing platform AAHA Advantage and the continuing education site AAHA Learning.
  • Increase AAHA’s social media following.
  • Raise pet owner awareness about the value of accreditation.

Before joining AAHA, Dr. Cavanaugh, a graduate of Kansas State University, was director of veterinary hospital services at Pfizer Animal Health and director of medical and technical consultation at Heska Corp.


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